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MSI MEG Z390 ACE Motherboard Review

As the price of motherboards creep ever higher in the premium segment of the market, it can often prove difficult for consumers to justify that extra spending over entry-level and mid-range options. The MSI MEG Z390 ACE is well-placed in that it is clear to observe the additional value being delivered in terms of overall connectivity, component quality and premium features.

MSI made a bold move by removing the integrated graphics support but it pays off with the MEG Z390 ACE as MSI has established something significant with the remaining VRM; deploying a healthy 12 phases for the CPU cores. With the additional space freed up in the rear I/O from removing display outputs MSI has managed to cram in an exuberant amount of USB 3.1 connectivity alongside ample networking and useful function buttons (BIOS Flashback and Clear CMOS).


This motherboard is designed from its foundations to be intuitive to system builders and overclockers with a wide range of useful features like the pre-installed I/O shield, debug LEDs, diagnostic code reader, onboard power & reset buttons, clear CMOS and BIOS flashback functions, the well-equipped VRM with capable cooling, onboard VRM monitoring sensors and a sensible overall layout.

There are many contenders in the same price bracket as the MEG Z390 ACE but none other has been quite as successful as MSI in striking up a balance between features, total connectivity and overclocking capability.

One can always argue that “more” would be desirable, such as additional M.2 cooling or dual LAN, but MSI opted to keep these features, and a lot more, in-reserve for the MEG Z390 GODLIKE; a considerably more expensive flagship offering. The calculated compromises MSI has made to establish this product at its current price are what allow it to be such a competitive offering alongside the likes of the ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero,  Gigabyte Z390 Designare or Aorus Master, and ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming 9.

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The MSI MEG Z390 ACE has a retail price of £249.95 in the UK at Overclockers UK and is sold with a 2 year warranty.

It seems to be out of stock at OCUK at the moment, but we have also found the ACE on Amazon UK for £250.63.

In the USA it can be had for $277.99 at Amazon and has a 3 year warranty.

Pros:

  • Triple M.2.
  • High quality audio solution with ESS DAC.
  • Onboard WiFi & Bluetooth.
  • Plentiful USB 3.1 Type-A and C.
  • Onboard power/reset, diagnostics tools and function buttons.
  • High quality 12-phase VCore VRM with monitoring sensors.
  • New unified software package “Dragon Center”.
  • Competitively priced with rivals.
  • Ample RGB headers.
  • Dual VRM heatsinks with heat pipe.
  • Effective M.2 cooling solution.
  • Clean and neutral aesthetics.
  • Pre-installed I/O shield.

Cons:

  • No integrated graphics VRM or display outputs.
  • Only one M.2 heatsink.
  • Only one onboard RGB lighting zone.
  • Enhanced Turbo was unstable.

KitGuru says: One of the best high-end Z390 motherboards currently on offer, the MSI MEG Z390 ACE is a worthy inclusion on any Z390 shortlist.

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Rating: 9.0.

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